Leadership and Navigating Change

By  Lyne Desormeaux, PSYD, PCC

Change is a constant and something leaders and managers must continually be prepared for.

The four stages of change are information, support, direction and encouragement. It helps to understand where you and your direct reports are on this curve to best navigate the change:

  1. INFORMATION: Getting and sharing information: when direct reports learn that there is a change coming, they want to know how it will impact them. The challenge is that many times all of the information can’t be shared. What is important is to keep informing employees as often as possible, so that they can start understanding the implications.
  1. SUPPORT: How is everyone feeling about the change? Some changes are exciting, some bring on nervousness and some are emotionally challenging. As a manager, it’s important to assess how you feel about the change and realize that you may have to process those feelings as well as self-manage before sharing information with direct reports. Your role will be to supportive of your direct reports.
  1. DIRECTION: Once information is shared and feelings processed, leaders can then move towards moving forward with the new changes and the define the new directions.
  1. ENCOURAGEMENT: Finally, encouragement and celebration of the new milestones can be acknowledged and shared.

It can be hard to adapt to changes. I was working with leaders that were used to a certain culture and way of operating and having difficulty adapting the new culture shifts. This company’s past culture was more dominant and even male-dominated. With the times changing towards a more collaborative culture with more female leaders, these leaders were having to work on their emotional intelligence as well as navigate their feelings about the changing culture. They appreciated the possibility of growing, adapting as well as moving with the times. In the process, they also became stronger leaders.


To do similar work with your own team on navigating change, discuss your challenges with Lyne.